Hurricane Idalia has made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast as a “catastrophic” Category 3 storm that has already left tens of thousands of residents without power, officials said Wednesday morning.
Idalia is producing storm surges of up to 16 feet in some areas, damaging howling winds of up to 125 miles per hour and historic freshwater flooding that has completely engulfed Florida roadways, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The National Weather Service in Tallahassee called Idalia “an unprecedented event” as no major hurricanes, those classified as Category 3 or higher, have made landfall in the Big Bend region since they were first recorded the hurricane data in 1851. The NWS also said “none”. “It has witnessed a storm strengthen to such a magnitude in such a short time.